Los Patos Swell Statistics, May: All Swell – Any Wind
This picture describes the variation of swells directed at Los Patos through a typical May. It is based on 1736 NWW3 model predictions since 2007 (values every 3 hours). The wave model does not forecast surf and wind right at the coastline so we have chosen the optimum grid node based on what we know about Los Patos. In this particular case the best grid node is 35 km away (22 miles).
The rose diagram shows the distribution of swell directions and swell sizes, while the graph at the bottom shows the same thing but lacks direction information. Five colours represent increasing wave sizes. Very small swells of less than 0.5m (1.5 feet) high are shown in blue. These occurred only 7% of the time. Green and yellow show increasing swell sizes and red represents the highest swells, greater than >3m (>10ft). In both graphs, the area of any colour is proportional to how commonly that size swell happens.
The diagram implies that the most common swell direction, shown by the biggest spokes, was ESE, whereas the the dominant wind blows from the E. Because the wave model grid is away from the coast, sometimes a strong offshore wind blows largest waves away from Los Patos and out to sea. We combine these with the no surf category of the bar chart. To keep it simple we don't show these in the rose plot. Because wind determines whether or not waves are surfable at Los Patos, you can select a similar diagram that shows only the swells that were predicted to coincide with glassy or offshore wind conditions. Over an average May, swells large enough to cause good for surfing waves at Los Patos run for about 93% of the time.
IMPORTANT: Beta version feature! Swell heights are open water values from NWW3. There is no attempt to model near-shore effects. Coastal wave heights will generally be less, especially if the break does not have unobstructed exposure to the open ocean.